The Royal Air Force aircraft will be deployed to regional civilian airports for the first time since the Second World War, purportedly owing to rising tensions with Russia over its military action in Ukraine.
According to the Daily Express news agency, which cited officials, Eurofighter Typhoons and F-35 fighters in Scotland and the British counties of Norfolk and Lincolnshire would be reorganized into small groups and deployed on the boundaries of various provincial airports with runways capable of hosting the aircraft.
The measure is said to be intended to ensure the quick reaction force’s effectiveness against attacks on its bases.
According to the newspaper, the UK Defense Ministry has visited regional civilian airports numerous times in the last year to determine how many aircraft, backup facilities, and ground crew can be deployed in an emergency.
The move of combat aircraft is said to be part of the United States armed force’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept, which aims to provide the country’s air force with the capacity to operate from a wider variety of bases, increasing flexibility and reliability.
The ACE idea apparently took over a year to create. It was intended to be used in potential hot spots around the world, such as the Indo-Pacific region, the Middle East, and NATO’s eastern flanks in Europe, but it was quickly accelerated and expanded to cover the entire UK territory after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, according to the media outlet.
Possible direct conflict with Russia
In July, Britain did not rule out the possibility of a direct conflict with Russia. RAF Chief of Staff Michael Wigston said that UK warplanes were already on alert.
“We must be ready for this. <…> I have no doubt that Russia is the most pressing threat to the security of Great Britain and Europe,” Sky News quoted him as saying.
In June, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said there is a “very real” risk that Russian aggression will spread beyond Ukraine to the rest of Europe. Wallace was speaking at a conference organized by the Royal Joint Institute for Defense Studies, BBC reported.
Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the British General Staff, has already said that Britain and its allies are experiencing their “moment of 1937” after Russia invaded Ukraine and must do everything possible to prevent another world war.
Boris Johnson has said that any concessions to Russia would be a disaster.
NATO failed in Ukraine and may lead to direct conflict with Russia
Jussi Jalonen, a Finnish historian, suggested on July 10 that Western nations are considering intervening in the Ukrainian situation on Kyiv’s behalf. He believes that the West is avoiding military intervention by continuing to provide Ukraine with weaponry. This viewpoint, according to the expert, has failed. At the same time, many Russian lawmakers feel that the West as a whole is already engaged in a hybrid war with Russia, arming Ukraine.
NATO leaders declared Russia the most important and direct danger to the alliance’s security on June 29.
On June 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Europe and NATO were preparing for war with Russia. Lavrov emphasised that Moscow will follow Brussels’ lead.
Prior to this, on April 29, Liam Doyle, military analyst and columnist, wrote in the Daily Express that Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States may be the first to strike Russia if global tensions rise, triggering a third world war.
According to him, Russia’s likely opponents will be countries with nuclear arsenals. They can be the first to attack, unleashing a third world war.
Doyley notes that against the 6,257 Russian nuclear warheads in the West, the US has 3,700, and the UK has 225 more. The expert believes that American aircraft capable of delivering tactical nuclear strikes may be in Germany.
Doyle believes that the United States is likely to be the first to respond if a nuclear conflict escalates.
Britain has been preparing for war since 2021
The British Armed Forces have created a strategy in the event of a conflict with Russia, wrote ‘The Times’ in November 2021. London intends to establish three additional bases in Germany, Kenya, and Oman. The formation in Germany will be the first focus where the UK will deliver numerous weapons. London intends to move a detachment of 250 personnel closer to Eastern Europe “in response to the Russian threat.” The forward base will be located in Sennelager, Germany (part of the city of Paderborn). Germany, like Kenya and Oman, will serve as a regional land centre for the British army.